Well, it's been six months. I'm halfway through my Year Without Wine (and all brethren booze). And I'm not going to lie: I'm losing steam.
It's not so much that I am jonesing for a glass of wine. Really, I find that I am rarely craving a drink which is both surprising and cool, but there have been times when it would have been so nice to participate in the sipping sense. A couple of examples?
The Wedding. We went to a wonderful wedding recently in Saratoga, New York. It was a truly gorgeous and happy affair in the most exquisite locale and there was this marathon indoor/outdoor cocktail hour where people floated from green grass to lavish buffets to beautifully-stocked bars. There was a signature drink - a sage martini, I think - that sounded particularly summery and delish. And I would have tried it had I not been doing this thing I am doing.
The Vacation. Over the Fourth of July holiday, we spent a week in Cape Cod. The weather was downright glorious and we hung out with family we rarely have a chance to see. Before dinner each night, everyone cracked a cold beer or poured a glass of wine. I would have loved to follow suit. I think it would have helped me relax a bit. (Note: "Vacations" with kiddos are not exactly spa-like in their serenity.)
Anyway, neither was a big deal. Both times were lovely and I had fun. It's just that I felt a bit quiet, a bit thinky, a bit peripheral to everything. Maybe I'm fooling myself (always a good possibility), but I think a drink or two would have mellowed me out and made me sink into my moments more. At the wedding, I might have hit the dance floor more than I did. In Cape Cod, I might have been able to savor the sunsets and feel more mellow.
The truth: A question has been floating through my mind recently:
Should I quit?
It's been six months. This is substantial. I have learned so much about myself and my patterns. I have truly learned that fun can be had without swimming in Pinot Grigio. I have honestly concluded that I do not need alcohol to function, to deal, to cope.
So. Why continue with this self-imposed exercise in alcohol avoidance?
Truth be told, I don't have a solid answer to this one, but I plan to keep on going. I guess I feel that if I have learned so much in the first six months, it's likely that there's a lot more to learn in the next six. I guess I am a perfectionist, a goal girl, and I like to follow through with things I set out to do. I guess that deep down I believe there are compelling, if elusive, reasons for me to make it to the year-mark.
And so. I've been trying to focus on all of the really positive things that I've felt since January. And one thing, one simple thing, that stands out? I haven't had a single hangover. I think this is why I enjoyed my pregnancies so much (after the first trimester which honestly felt like one long hangover) - because I never felt that dull, achy, anxious, icky aftermath of too much sauce. The truth is that my ability to drink has waned over the years and I was feeling hungover a fair bit when I was drinking. Even after a moderate amount. I was waking up too many mornings feeling slow and shameful and, in retrospect, it really wasn't a fun way to start the day.
So six months without a hangover? Pretty amazing. Maybe this is reason enough to keep on keeping on?
Thoughts on hangovers? Are you able to power through them or do they tend to drag you down? Are you able to drink in such a way that you avoid hangovers? Do you agree that vacations and weddings are more enjoyable with a bit of booze? Most importantly though, should I keep going? Convince me, people!